As Google pushes to make search and its other platforms the first and last stop to find and buy products, the company on Tuesday announced partnerships with Best Buy, Nike and Sephora just prior to U.S. retailers heading into the end-of-year holiday season.
Best Buy, Nike and Sephora join hundreds of merchants that use Google Shopping Actions to serve product ads across Google Search, Google Assistant, and Google Express, reaching the three-quarters of U.S. holiday shoppers age 18 and older who use three or more channels, according to Google.
Consumers move from browsing to buying with a universal cart that works across all three platforms whether they’re on mobile, desktop or even a Google Home device, explains Daniel Alegre, president of retail, shopping and payment at Google, in a post.
Sephora allows customers to buy across Google’s properties, as well as earn Beauty Insider points with each purchase as part of the retailer's loyalty program.
The platform represents a step toward integrating the web, making it easy for consumers to search for and buy products. Google insists that the majority of searches for products and services begin on its platform, but several analyst and data companies have released findings in the past six months that show Google losing search ad budgets to Amazon. For example, about 49% of product searches begin on Amazon, according to Survata.
Citing two media agencies, CNBC reports that in some cases, brands are moving 50% to 60% of their Google Search ad budgets to Amazon.
As CNBC points out, Alphabet has remained somewhat insulated from any threats in terms of losing a large percentage of its ad revenue to competitors, but brands are shifting money to Amazon, and most of the movement is coming from consumer packaged goods.